“the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.”
Applying this to ourselves is called self-confidence, self-belief, self-acceptance, self-reliance
Lack of confidence
A lack of self-confidence can create a number of problems in our lives and limit many of our behaviours because we simply don’t have the inner conviction that we will be successful. We become riddled with self-doubt and are either reluctant to start something we think we may fail at, or struggle to complete it, because it will never be good enough by our standards.
We easily get caught up in a negative and destructive thinking cycle, that causes us to avoid people and situations totally for fear of being judged and found wanting, or we give up too easily.
We find ourselves in positions where we constantly question our abilities and look for affirmation from others.
[Tweet “”This can make us needy and difficult to be around””]
We then become the person who needs to be taken care of, which can be a millstone in many of our relationships, both personal and professional. We can then find we can get left behind causing additional tensions. Our lack of confidence increases as the cycle deepens and can lead to psychological problems and even depression.
Self confidence or lack of it, varies from one individual to another. It can be related to a perception of who we are or who we are not. It can be connected to a disappointment or a traumatic event. It can be centred around a perceived skill set deficit (public speaking is a major one) a physical attribute (weight, smile and height are frequently cited) It can also be connected to:
- Other elements of our appearance and body image
- Our career path and satisfaction and any road blocks
- Our relationships both professional and personal
- Any other skills: report writing, coaching, pitching, interviews
We tend to see mistakes as critical errors rather than personal development needs. We blame and berate ourselves for perceived failures, rather than owning our successes and being able to articulate them fully.
Here are 6 Daily habits for building self-confidence
There are no short cuts for building self-confidence. It requires a lot of work and introspection, as well as becoming aware of the sand traps we fall into to avoid getting stuck in negative thinking. Changing any habit takes 30 days, so be patient and set yourself some small challenges to take baby steps along the road to change.
1. Ask the right questions
Benchmark any situation realistically and place it on a scale of 1-10 in the overall scheme of things. “What is the worst thing that can happen?” The real answer is that the fallout will never be as bad as you think. Look for solutions and consider: “How can I solve this problem?” instead of blaming and judging yourself, and getting into catastrophic thought processes.
Can a coach or mentor help you work through this? “Do I need help with a learned skill or trick?” Rather than “My career will be in ruins” or “I will be failure” or “Everyone will hate me.”
A coaching client was overcome by nerves before making presentations, so much so, that she avoided doing them all together. But recently she had no choice. A short coaching program with a body language coach, learning some deep breathing exercises gave an almost instant cure. She is still nervous, but is now able to embrace and channel those nerves and adrenalin, into positive energy. She has learned the skills and tricks to deal with them.
2. Don’t try to control everything
Only try to control the things you can, and let go of the things you can’t. You cannot control the experience of others – just do the best you can. Remember not to set your standards too high. This goes back to asking the right questions. “What is good enough?”
3. Always listen attentively
When you have concerns or doubts (before a decision, a conflict, in a difficult situation) ask for input and feedback. Go back again to asking the right questions and probe more deeply. “What makes you say that?” is a good question to pose to hear granulated input.
4. Step out of your comfort zone every day
Set yourself small goals to challenge your thinking. If someone always interrupts you in a meeting say “I’m going to finish.” Examine how that makes you feel, rather than allowing yourself to be cut off mid stream. If your meal in a restaurant is not good – give the waiter feedback. Isn’t that better than accepting poor quality in silence? One small challenge a day.
[Tweet “”Pat yourself on the back for every success.””]
5. Don’t measure the disappointments
Each time something doesn’t go to plan, don’t beat yourself up. Sh$t happens. Be your own best friend. Strike it down to learning and commit to doing something differently in exactly the same way as you would advise a friend. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi : it’s not the being knocked down that matters, it’s getting back up.
6. Be grateful and interact with others
You will be surprisedt how these small changes will build into a solid foundation of positive thinking. Your self – confidence will increase.